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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Hesham Shafick, BA, AUC; MA, UCL; PhD, QMUL; PGCE, Harvard.


Teaching Fellow




Hesham is interested in the politics of ignorance, unknowing, and epistemic distancing, particularly in relation to coloniality and postcolonial states in North Africa. His work was published in academic journals like Review of African Political Economy and Interface, and political e-zines like Jadaliyya, Opendemocracy, Ceasefire, and LSE Review of Books. He previously taught at SOAS, LSE, King's College, and the British University in Egypt. He currently convenes a cross-disciplinary/cross-institutional PhD seminar on contemporary politics of the Middle East (

Hesham’s doctoral research expanded on the concept of innocence, as articulated in critical race studies, to explain the silence of Egyptian liberals on the Rabaa massacre. He is currently working on developing this research project into a monograph entitled The Violence of Innocence: Ignoring the Rabaa Massacre.

Hesham is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since January 2019.


Research Interests:

Hesham is an international political sociologist interested in questions of social epistemology in relation to political hierarchies. His research focuses on the politics of ignorance, silencing, unknowing, and epistemic distancing and their manifestations in racial, gender, and class relations. His empirical research focuses on postcolonial contexts in the Middle East, with special attention to contemporary Egypt.

Examples of research funding:

  • London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP), Student-led activity funding, the Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK, 2018-2021
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) PhD Research Studentship, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, UK, 2017-2019
  • First Category Merit Scholarship for Academic Excellence, American University in Cairo, Egypt, 2006-2011


Recent Journal Articles

Financialisation of Politics - the political economy of Egypt's Counter-Revolution" Review of African Political Economy (Accepted)

From Deception to Inception: Social Media and the Changing Function of Fake News (Lessons from Egypt 2013).

CyberOrient (Under Review)

Acts of ignorance: How could Egypt’s revolutionaries overlook a state massacre of 1000+ protestors. Interface 11.2 (2019): 35-62.

Recent Strategy Papers

Egypt: Strategic Implications of the Extended Political Repression. Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (2020)

Recent Magazine Articles

Why is the Egyptian state so anxious about young women dancing on Tiktok? Jadaliyya (2020)

On the Anniversary of Egypt's Rabaa Massacre: How did we arrive here? Ceasefire (2020)

Whatever it is the Parliament does: On Egypt’s redundant, theatrical elections. Ceasefire (2020)

Book Reviews

(2020). Violence and Nonviolence: Conceptual Excursions into Phantom Opposites by Peyman Vahabzadeh. Philosophy in Review 40.4 (November)

(2020). Cleft Capitalism: The Social Origins of Failed Market Making in Egypt by Amr Adly. Jadaliyyya

(2020). Iran and Saudi Arabia: Taming a Chaotic Conflict by Ibrahim Fraihat. LSE Review of Books.

(2020). The Force of Nonviolence by Judith Butler. LSE Review of Books.

(2020). Martyrs and Tricksters: An Ethnography of the Egyptian Revolution by Walter Armbrust. LSE Review of Books.

(2018). Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology edited by Xavier Guillaume and Pinar Bilgin. LSE Review of Books.

(2017). The Power Triangle: Military, Security and Politics in Regime Change by Hazem Kandil. LSE Review of Books.

(2016). Unfinished Revolutions: Yemen, Libya and Tunisia After the Arab Spring by Ibrahim Fraihat. LSE Review of Books.

(2016). Social Media and Everyday Politics by Tim Highfield. LSE Review of Books

Public Engagement

Hesham is a regular contributor to Opendemocracy and LSE Review of Books. He is also a scriptwriter for “El-Da7ee7” [“The Nerd”], a Youtube program in Arabic that simplifies social science topics to unspecialised audiences through graphics, comedy, and storytelling; and an educator at Seeds of Peace, an organisation that fosters peace in the Middle East by organising cooperative intellectual activities that bring together youth from nations that are in political conflict.

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